Many years ago I once found a record dealer who had a good amount of the Ultimate Breaks and Beats, or UBB as they are known in the DJ game, for sale. He’s telling me how his sealed Hall and Oates, and Donna Summer records are $5, and the other junk compilations are a quarter. With a poker face I gladly took all of them. For a DJ starting out, finding doubles of any UBB record was gold. I mean taking the worn in Volume 20 out and finding “House of the Rising Funk”, “Hook and Sling”, “Kissing My Love” and others made me think I struck gold. Fast forward to this past year, I’m digging at what I thought was one of my secret spots, only to get there and find out all the 45s have been bought. My wife is walking around and finds a random stack of 45s. I do not have high hopes for that stack, but take them anyway. I’m glad I did, because in that stack is this very 45 I will be reviewing today flea market funkers: “House of the Rising Funk”, by The Chubukos on Mainstream Records.
What do we know about this band, the Chubukos? Other than the fact that the Chubukos aka Afrique had released a banger of a greasy funk Lp on Mainstream, covering a little song called “Soul Makossa” by Manu Dibango, not much. 70’s funk and soul session guitarist David T. Walker, and bassist Chuck Rainey were among the 13, yes I said 13, members who comprised this funk consortium. There is no other full length record by Afrique, but they did release a string of 45s from said record, this being one of them. They also contributed to a few soundtracks in the mid to late 1970’s, but to hear them at their best, is to hear them on the “Soul Makossa” record.
Let’s talk about the record itself. A funk instrumental that can not be denied it’s rightful place in all that is funky. The heavy opening drum break (with some conga thrown in for flavor) introduces us to what’s in store, while Walker’s wah-wah guitar starts off the groove with a touch of funky Hendrix cool. This is a journey into sound (if I can borrow the phrase from the Coldcutremix of Eric B. and Rakim’s “Paid in Full”), a journey, along the way, that will give you a beefy shot of organ, a generous dose of horns, and a funk groove that will not go away. For me, the standout (besides the fat drum break) is the presence of Walker, who grooves his wah wah pedal until the end. He locks in the funky groove until the the organ and both saxaphones rise to an almost free funk freakout, then slowly fade out. While this record is not rare, and copies can be found pretty easily, it’s a track that shouldn’t be passed up, whether it’s on 45 like this one, the UBB comps, or any other 70’s funk reissue, Flea Market Funk recommends this track. Enjoy and Keep Diggin’!